It never made a whit of sense when the shooting that left 13 people dead at the Fort Hood Army base was labeled “workplace violence” instead of terrorism. The designation now stands as downright preposterous after Tuesday’s opening trial statement by the shooter.
“We the Mujahideen are imperfect Muslims trying to establish the perfect religion in the land of the supreme god,” said Maj. Nidal Hasan at his court-martial. “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter. The dead bodies will show that war is an ugly thing.”
Hasan, acting as his own lawyer, is also charged with wounding 32 others in the 2009 rampage. He faces the death penalty.
His references to religion and war show his motivation. He fired at unarmed Americans, most of them soldiers, as an act of terror in service to Islam.
Although President Obama called the shooting “violent jihad” last May, the army’s “workplace” designation remains. The difference is not merely semantic. It means military victims are not eligible for Purple Hearts, and survivors do not qualify for certain benefits.
It also means Hasan is not treated as an enemy combatant, and still collects his paycheck; taxpayers have given him over $300,000 since the attack.
The claim that this is an ordinary criminal case is belied by courtroom precautions against another terror attack. “Guards stood watch with long assault rifles outside the courthouse,” Fox News reports. “A long row of shipping freight containers, stacked three high, created a fence around the building, which was almost entirely hidden by 15-foot-tall stacks of heavy, shock-absorbing barriers.”
I don’t often recommend petitions, but there is one urging the Defense Department to label the shooting what it is — an act of terror. You can find it at National Review online. Add your name to help end this outrage.
To continue reading Michael Goodwin's column in the New York Post, click here.